Muscat: One road accident occurred on average every three hours on Oman’s roads in 2018, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information.
This is a 27 per cent decrease from the accident rate in 2017, when one road accident occurred every two hours.
Some 2,802 accidents occurred on the Sultanate’s roads in 2018, down from 3,845 accidents in 2017. Some 637 deaths occurred in 2018, compared to 640 in 2017. 2,815 people were injured in 2018, compared to 3,134 people in 2017.
As many as 396 Omanis and 239 expats lost their lives on the Sultanate’s roads in 2018. Furthermore, there were 1.15 million vehicles registered on Omani roads by the end of 2018.
Brigadier Mohammed Al Rawas, Director General of the Traffic Department at the ROP, earlier this year said that the number of accidents has reduced by 67 per cent, injuries by 33 per cent, and deaths by 52 per cent in recent years.
Al Rawas said: “Traffic accidents resulting from speed accounted for more than 70 per cent of the total accidents.
Awareness and motorists abiding by speed limits led to the reduction in the number of accidents. Speed radars also contributed to the slash in the number of accidents.”
Ali A Barwani, a traffic safety expert, said: “This is still a high rate as eight accidents occurred per day, but much better, compared to the previous years.”
He added, “Oman has worked very hard in bringing down the number of road accidents in the country, including ROP, citizens, residents, other authorities and local media as well.”
He explained that the intensive traffic patrols and speed radars have also contributed in reducing the number of road accidents in the country. “The consumer protection watchdog also has acted tremendously by recalling faulty vehicles and banning the use of used tyres,” he added.
Al Barwani pointed out that the opening of new expressways in recent years has also greatly cut the number of road accidents.
“The opening of the new Batinah Expressway has significantly reduced the number of accidents, not forgetting that Batinah region is a densely populated area.”
Extensive traffic campaigns and strict new traffic laws also helped in reducing the number of road accidents.